Wall Street Unplugged
Episode: 1094November 29, 2023

You’d be crazy to count on a rate cut

My family and I are back from our Thanksgiving vacation in the Dominican Republic. We had a fantastic time—except for the travel. Prepare for a rant on budget airlines… why I’ll never fly Spirit again… and a tangent about how the Department of Justice fights every merger (including the Spirit/JetBlue deal).

The markets are on a four-week winning streak as economic data shows inflation is easing and investors are looking ahead to interest rate cuts next year. I explain why it’s crazy to expect a cut anytime soon… how the Fed is actually undermining its own fight against inflation… and why the market is still incredibly dangerous.

I also highlight the three factors investors should look for to spot companies poised to survive—and thrive—in the crazy environment ahead.

Speaking of which, I just recommended a small-cap stock in Curzio Venture Opportunities that checks all three boxes. It’s fallen about 25% recently because of two risks that no longer exist… and insiders are buying it hand over fist. Join us today to get the recommendation.

General Motors (GM) made headlines today by announcing a $10 billion buyback and a massive dividend increase. I continue to pound the table on how a buyback-focused strategy can beat the market… and why only the strongest companies can pull it off.

Tomorrow on WSU Premium, Daniel and I will discuss the strategy in more detail… and share a list of stocks executing on it.

As a final note, I want to pay my respects to investing legend Charlie Munger, who passed away yesterday at the age of 99. I’m looking forward to CNBC’s final interview with him, which will be released soon.

Inside this episode:
Frank Curzio
Frank Curzio, founder and CEO of Curzio Research, is one of America’s most respected stock experts. His research is regularly featured on media outlets like CNBC’s Kudlow Report, The Call, CNN Radio, ABC News, and Fox Business News. His Wall Street Unplugged podcast—ranked the No. 1 “most listened-to” financial podcast on iTunes—has been downloaded over 12 million times.

Wall Street Unplugged | 1094

You’d be crazy to count on a rate cut

This transcript was automatically generated.

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street right to you on Main Street.

Frank Curzio: How’s it going out there, it’s November 29th.

I’m Frank Curzio. This is the Wall Street Unplugged podcast where I break down the headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets.

So I know most of you listen on iTunes or through our Curzio Research site, but if you’re watching on YouTube, I have my Penn State sweatshirt on Big Penn State fan pretty much for all my life. College football.

And this was bought by my best friend, best friend for 48 years known since I’m three years old. I’m 51.

Pretty crazy, right? To know somebody that long and still like them, but he buys me stuff at Penn State ’cause his daughters go there and he goes to a game every single year and they have like exclusive stuff there that you could buy only there, just like the masters, the only stuff that you can get on campus or through the stadium.

And he buys me stuff and sends it to me all the time.

So, really, really cool.

Again, being a Penn State fan’s always hard since they lose in Michigan, Ohio State every fricking year.

But to be honest, and he’s a pretty smart guy.

Probably ones more real estate in Queens, New York than Donald Trump.

But he only buys me long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts and I love gifts.

I’m not complaining, but I live in Florida and it’s like over 75 degrees for about 11 and a half months outta the year.

So it gives me about a 15 day window to wear this stuff.

And today happens to be one of those days because it’s like 50 degrees in Jacksonville, Florida, nice and cold.

So I love it.

It’s a great sweatshirt, nice and thick.

I think I’d be sweating in Alaska right now if I had it on, but I really appreciate it.

If anyone else wants to send me gifts, feel free.

I’m just kidding.

You have to send me anything.

Just appreciate you listening, which I always think is crazy that you’re actually listening to everything I say, which is awesome.

But I try to provide a great, great podcast for you guys.

And with that, it’s nice to be back in the saddle.

Just had Thanksgiving, coming back from my vacation.

Took my family Dominican, which I don’t really do.

I usually spend it with my, you know, my family members, my mom, sister, brother, and stuff like that.

And really went away for Thanksgiving.

But we, Dominican, we had a really great time.

But I have to tell you, I flew Spirit Airlines, which I rarely, rarely do because it’s apparently easier to fly to North Korea than it is to fly to Dominican from Jacksonville.

So if you look at the flights where it’s Delta Legacy Airlines, whether it’s United American, you know, you fly to Charlotte, you have to take two flights no matter what.

You have to fly to Charlotte and then you can fly Dominican, you can fly to Miami, fly Dominican, right? Or even Orlando fly Dominican.

But the layovers at three hours plus.

And it’s not me that flying, it’s flying with my family.

And we would get to the Dominican really, really, really late on the first day.

I like to get there nice and early, you know, maybe one o’clock, two o’clock and you have that day, which was Sunday to Sunday.

But just getting there is really cool.

But Spirit has a direct flight from Orlando and you drive two hours.

I’m close to Orlando than I was ’cause I live in Jacksonville now.

So it’s two hours.

Stayed at a hotel, from Saturday to Sunday.

And then we left and saved the hotel, which is hooked up to Orlando Airport, right? Which is the Hyatt, which is cool.

Now, probably gonna be the last time I ever fly Spirit, because you wanna talk about a really crazy company.

I, I mean, after you pay for the flight, you realize that it’s not a discounting airline ’cause everything’s a la carte.

So you go there, you pay for the flight, you’re like, okay, this is pretty cool.

I’m getting a discount.

And then they nail you.

’cause you have to pay for the seat.

You have to actually pay for the seat, right? So wherever you’re gonna sit, you’re gonna pay.

It’s not like you’re paying fe leg room.

They don’t have leg room.

You know, maybe the, the a few seats, maybe 15 on the whole flight maybe.

But the leg room is like smaller than ever.

It’s really, really tight.

Then you pick a seat, whatever it is, 40 bucks each.

Again, it’s not too bad if it’s 40, $50 if it’s one person, but I’m going with my whole family.

If you want wifi, it’s $15 per person.

So there’s no free movies on the flight.

They don’t offer any drinks or food at all unless you pay for it.

And it was funny because some lady behind me was like, Hey, can I have a cup of water? I have to take a pill.

They’re like, well we only sell bottled water and it’s $5 for the bottle.

And it’s not like, you know, Fiji or some, you know, great brand Smart Water.

It’s, it’s, you know, Joe’s Water Shack, whatever, you know, little label on it, but it’s $5.

And she’s like, I don’t wanna pay for it.

They’re like, well you’re not gonna drink then.

So you don’t get water, you don’t get anything on the flight, which I find amazing.

Uh, then you have to pay for your bags.

Even your carry-ons.

It’s $65 to pay for a carry-on.

Again, I’m b******g here, but it’s worth it because I’m trying to help you guys out.

You have a good take spirit.

And it relates to stocks, right? So hear me out, it’s $65, not, not for the check, but, but your bag, your bag’s just to carry on.

So you know, four people’s starting to get expenses.

Then the actual luggage that you’re checking in, which is insane ’cause that’s another $65.

So this is that you’re checking in.

So all of us are bringing a big bag going away for a week.

So you’re looking at $130 per person just for your bags, not even flights.

And here’s the kicker, if you go there and they weigh your bag and it’s over, not 50 pounds, which is all the other airlines, 40 pounds.

If you’re like a pound or two over, that might be okay.

Depends if all four bags are, but they’re gonna charge you an extra a hundred dollars.

And if you’re over 10 pounds, if it’s over 50 pounds in a bag, it’s $150 extra.


Now, I don’t know if you ever flew with your family and you know, for a week if you’re going on a, you know, you bring a big bag, which is like 10, 12 pounds.

I mean for me, I’m throwing in two jeans, two pairs of sneakers, you know, shoes, half the bag was full and I was over 40.

So before you’re leaving, you’re like on a scale holding the bags to make sure the below ’cause it’s gonna cost you 400 to $800 there and back, which is a lot of freaking money, you know, going on vacation.

But I’d rather spend that on a lot of other stuff than just because my bag is like 5% overweight.

So you are looking at all these fees and even on the way back I’m like, are those shorts wet? Because if they’re wet, it’s gonna weigh more.

It’s, it’s, it’s mind boggling to me.

But it was always, it was 50 pounds, now it’s 40 pounds, which is not a lot if you’re going away for a week, okay? ’cause you’re packing a lot of different stuff and plus you’re going out at night with your wife and your family and going out to nice dinners and stuff like that.

But just, you know, imagine going on vacation, you’re about to leave and you’re trying to figure out some of this stuff and how much your bags, you know, it’s just stupid crap.

I, I’d like to pay it and just be like, forget it.

But going with four people, it’s a lot.

So now I know why JetBlue and Frontier are fighting so hard to buy this company, right? It’s been happening for what, maybe a year and a half, two years.

But it doesn’t really matter.

’cause when you look at Spear and that flight was full, so it was probably a good stock to buy ’cause everyone to buy it a lot higher.

And it’s actually came down a lot.

But if you are looking at the deal when it comes to JetBlue and Frontier going back and forth, right? Going back and forth, bidding war.

And the only reason why JetBlue won is because they have to pay a larger fee is a breakup fee no matter what the breakup is, even if they walk away, or of course at the Justice Department, FT ftc, which are politically run organizations denied this merger acquisition.

And that’s what they’re doing.

They’re actually suing JetBlue spirit to block the merger.

And you have Joe Biden actually talking about it in a speech around and say, Hey, you know, JetBlue and a spirit merger is gonna be really bad for the industry since you’re removing a discount airline for the market.

First of all, it’s not a discount airline.

There’s no such thing as a discount airline, right? They don’t exist.

It’s like Comcast telling you you’re gonna subscribe to Cable for $19 a month, okay? That includes two channels and they’re both in black and white.

Okay? So that’s horseshit.

Second, if Jet Blue and Spirit merged, they would rank as the fifth largest airline.

So not allowing this merger to a competitive issue isn’t is is an outright lie, right? It’s insane.

In fact, you’re destroying these companies, you’re going to put them out of business if they can’t do this.

And you’re looking at a T-Mobile situation like merge with Sprint that allowed them to compete even more with the legacy carriers like at and t and Verizon.

But by not allowing this deal, you’re almost putting ’em outta business.

’cause in an inflationary environment, they have no choice but to raise prices and charge crazy amount of money for anything.

And then it gets to the point like a Walmart or McDonald’s where they had tons of pricing power, but when they’re raising to prices, when you look at Walmart, when you raise prices to the point where now you’re going into Target’s range, I’m like, I’m gonna go to Target.

’cause Target has a lot more better s**t there.

Okay? It’s more quality.

McDonald’s, you get to the point where you’re like, eh, you know what? It’s getting expensive.

I’d rather go to Chipotle, which is trading at an all time high.

The same thing with the airlines.

It’s getting to the point where even fuel costs and fuels come down or it’s come down a little bit.

But there’s no such thing as discount airlines.

There’s never been a discount airlines.

You, you can’t, they could tell you that.

But actually when you go away in times of fees and everything like that, it amounts to pretty close what you’re paying for.

The legacy ones, which are nicer planes, free wifi, you’re going to get a drink on a plane, right? Which is nice.

You get a drink of water or a soda as they come around, you don’t have to freaking pay for it.

And not to mention, all these airlines love to sell you on their miles plans.

I’m, I’m a client, why you just like selling it in my face? Coming around one 60,000 free miles, all this s**t crazy, crazy.

But you know, you start researching this and saying, you know, why would they block a deal like this? When you are looking at, at at, at the lobbying dollars from the Legacy Airlines, I’m sure is going to work and it’s working, they’ll love to block this deal.

’cause they know these carriers are just gonna go under.

I mean, is JetBlue really gonna exist? Probably not.

If you look at the Justice Department, FTC and they’re working with the European Commission to do everything they can to prevent every deal, including Microsoft buying Activision, which is insane.

How does that limit competition? Well, it’s gonna provide a, you know, a bigger cloud provider in, in the gaming sector.

Gimme be a break.

Are you crazy? I mean, Microsoft fought this finally and, and got, you know what, why did they block it in the first place? I mean, yes, they had the European commission and FTC said they’re looking into the Amazon iRobot deal, which was announced pretty while ago, right? And how this would create competition concerns.

Now look, the Roomba iBot iRobot’s signature product I’m very familiar with.

I’ve been very familiar with iRobot.

I cover it for a very long time.

A lot of people not to buy it.

And the stock really crashed.

And the reason why I said not to buy it is ’cause I go to consumer electronics show every single year and it’s like 20 companies with the same product, the same exact thing from China that charged half the price.

And not only that, they climb walls now they climb walls and climb windows, right? So you don’t need to scaffolding.

And I see people still crazy, like big buildings in major cities.

Imagine that you’re going, oh, clean those windows.

Those guys look nuts.

Those guys are crazy.

Those guys are insane.

Now you got these fricking Roomba like things that are gonna climb up and they wash the windows and they climb up and they’re not gonna fall off the windows.

They stick to the windows and they clean them.

But there’s literally 20 companies that they’re all over the place at the Consumer Electronics Show.

So say that this limits competition is horseshit, it’s a lie, but it, it’s getting to the point where every deal that’s announced, that’s probably more than about $10 billion, all his MNA transactions.

You look at the Justice Department and, and the FTC, it’s an immediate no.

It’s like they’re not even looking at the details.

They’re like, Nope, nope.

We gotta look at this deal.

Nope, we’ve gotta hold it up.

And it’s not like, hey, we want to take a look.

We’ll let you know it.

It’s like, nope, nope, we’re not gonna allow this.

And what are you waiting for? Is it, is it lobby dollars? Is it, is it, you know, more donations to political parties? I mean, I don’t get it now.

I’m looking for every deal.

There’s some deals that should be blocked.

Nvidia buying arm was a joke.

I’m glad they, they didn’t approve that deal that that would’ve insane for Nvidia.

I think that Mark CAPAs high now at a trillion dollars plus would’ve been a lot higher.

I mean, you could see all their machines that they’re building have the armed products in them.

I mean that you wanna talk about a monopoly, you wanna talk about intel and, and even a MD being in big trouble, that was good that they didn’t allow that.

But to deny almost every single major deal.

It’s political and it’s sad.

But everything that’s coming across my put whenever I see a deal, it’s the FTC justice department.

Oh they, they look to block the deal.

Looking to block the deal.

How are they blocking the merger between Spirit and JetBlue? Are you, they, it’s the fifth largest airline combined gonna create competitive concerns.

Not gonna be discounted airlines.

I just flew spirit.

There was no freaking discount.

You’re getting discounts.

Let me know.

I didn’t.

I paid a fortune to fly that freaking airline back and forth and I had to carry bags and wait ’em like a freaking idiot to make sure I’m not paying another $800.


Anyway, after that mini rant, get into the markets, come off a four week wind streak, everything’s great.

Pop the champagne bottle.

We’re all cool now stocks already up this week as well.

Shouldn’t surprise.

You talked about the seasonality trade over the past few weeks.

There’s lots of money coming into the market into names that have outperformed many hedge funds.

Money managers underperforming the S&P 500.

’cause if you don’t own the top 10 stocks, the you’re only up 4%.

And the P’S up what, 16, 17% now for the year and NASDAQ’s up 30 something percent, 35% this year coming off a week year in 2022.

And I get it, but they need to generate alpha ’cause it’s all about their benchmark.

If they don’t beat their benchmark, they get fired.

If the s p’s down 20% dead down 18%, that’s great for them.

But if you’re only up four, 5% and that happens for a couple of years that you’re significantly underperforming your benchmark, it results in, you’re not gonna get a bonus.

It results in you possibly getting fired If you’re working for somebody and you just see this money sloshing around in certain areas where, you know, you look at at, at some stocks and look at ku, I I I mean you’re looking at a stock that absolutely crashed it, the growth on that company.

I, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company grow as fast as that and it’s ’cause of COVID, right? I think it’s from like 6 million to hundreds of millions of people using you know, Ruku and, and just Zoom as well is another one.

I mean just you know, big sites where everyone was staying in.

But you’re looking at a stock that reported earnings that that weren’t fantastic.

They show like they stopped the bleeding and I don’t know where it was from 400 to 70 to 60 but it went to 70 and after they reported earnings, now it’s shooting to over a hundred.

Why is that? You’re seeing all this money pour in.

It wasn’t because of the earnings that only went up those $10, now it’s up a lot more.

So you’re seeing this money, let’s push it into things where we can generate alpha.

And this is what happens.

And it’s seasonal happens almost every year.

I think Barrons came out and said 72% of the time stocks rise between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.

So this is normal to see this kind of move in the markets.

And we’re talking about this for a while.

So it also helps that we’ve gotten some positive news.

And by the way, positive news means we get, we’re getting negative news that’s positive, right? Meaning that we wanna see the economy slowing, we wanna see more people losing their jobs.

That’s positive.

’cause this way the Fed can lower rates, right? That’s the whole thesis.

Fed’s gotta lower rates.

That was a thesis for everyone.

The bullish thesis for this year, 100% in January and even before the months before this, when everyone comes up with their predictions like they’re coming up for 2024 around now all assume that rates the Fed was gonna start cutting and they haven’t and they’re patting themselves in the back for being right.

That’s okay.

Good to be right and not have the right thesis.

That have the right thesis and you don’t make money.

So I get it.

But we got some positive news in terms of the economy slowing, which adds to that sentiment that the Fed, hey they may look to cut by the middle of 2024.

So Dallas Fed right? The manufacturing index down for the 19th straight month.

It’s coming off like the CPI data not too long ago, a couple weeks ago showed inflation moderating, which caused the 10 year yield to fall sharply, right? It’s 5% to 4.4%.

That’s a massive move.

But we also start going from 4% to 5% really quick.

But it’s like some relief when we see that coming down again, it’s leading to Wall Street to believe that, you know what, we’re gonna see rate cuts by the middle of this year.

I don’t see it, especially if you’re looking at all the data like Black Friday sales up 10% this year.

I told you never ever bet against the holiday sales no matter what.

They’re gonna go up for 30 years.

Every year goes up.

I’m not too sure if it went up in Probably did.

’cause everyone’s buying stuff online for Christmas.

I have to look at the stats, but it always exceeds expectations.

I mean just based on where inflation is, inflation is 4%.

If you spend on the same things that you’re gonna spend the following year, again, you’re going to see that rise automatically.

And we always have inflation going higher and higher every fricking year.

We don’t have negative inflation.

We have inflation going up 2% plus 3% plus.

And now we’re used to what? 9% like a year ago.

Now it’s down 4%.

Still very, very high.

You’re also looking at unemployment.

People say wow, it’s approaching 4% gives a fed the green light.

Just start lowering rates right away.

You need to look at these numbers on a historical basis because if you look at the unemployment rate and I asked you what do you think the unemployment rate average from 2010 to 2019? So that’s a 10 year period pre COVID.

Now you throughout pre COVID, ’cause you see these massive decline in this massive increase due to all of government spending, right? So that 10 year period, if I ask you that, I bet you it’d be way off.

You know what the unemployment rate averaged over those 10 years? In fact in 2018 we broke below 4%, which is insane.

That’s a crazy milestone considering outside of the year 2000, you have to go back to 1968 as the last time unemployment rate on an annual basis was below 4%.

It’s never ever below 4%.

So if you think 4% and we hit 4% that that’s the Fed giving the Fed the green light, the Fed’s looking at you and giving you the fingers said no way.

I mean even that 5% were low, five point half percent were low.

So I’m hearing that a lot as well.

I mean 4% is not this magic number.

The Fed’s looking at to consider inflation’s under control to be looking at the markets from a common sense point of view.

There’s zero reason for the Fed to cut.

Why risk being wrong and inflation coming back to this market, especially since inflation is double where the Fed wants it to be.

And this is based on CPI.

So you’re still looking at 4% where they want 2%.

And that’s what Powell’s been saying for how long? 2%.

Do you think we’re gonna get to 2%? Well, we’re heading in the right direction, But I don’t know.

And then Jamie Dimon today spoke the deal summit.

Andrew Sorkin interviewed him and he said, look, rates are going higher.

He thinks rates are going higher.

This is just temporary.

And by the way, Jamie Dimon, right? CEO JPMorgan has a direct Batman line to Powell in the Fed that rings that red phone.

Hey, as you know, that’s direct line.

He believes they’re going higher from here.

Other positive news, we’re seeing the dollar fall on track for its worst monthly loss in a year.

Weaker dollars good for stocks, especially commodities.

Reason why coppers rallying gold, hitting new highs also helps multinational companies, which is a lot of the S&P 500.

But if you are looking into 2024 and heading into that, you are gonna see something that’s similar to what we’ve seen over the past five months.

Not the first six months where you saw stocks rocket higher, right? The the Fed injected more money, right? We thought the Fed was gonna cut back and they didn’t.

But you’re gonna see a lot what we’ve seen in the past four months, really four or five months of 20 of, of, of this year where the market is up 10% in the past month, 10%.

And you can say, well it’s on positive news.

Which again, the positive news means that we’re getting news that the economy’s slowing.

That’s positive for stocks.

Which is insane if you think about it because only a level where the economy slows to where we go to a recession where that’s not good.

Slower growth’s gonna hurt margins hurt earnings and they haven’t grown.

And basically four quarters grew a little bit this past quarter, but you’re gonna see the market pop 10% and you’re gonna see declines of six, 7% as we’ll likely see inflation creep back into this market, which I know sounds crazy.

But if you look at why that would happen, it’s because people are more optimistic.

They’re still spending, plus the Fed has not stopped spending as much as they say they are.

As much as you see the balance sheet coming down.

It’s interesting.

This just just came out and this is under the radar.

We just saw major outflows from small banks into large ones.

This has been a big trend and I’ve told you about this over the past few months.

I actually talked to friends at Citigroup, and another large bank and they said we’re, we’re killing it right now.

And if you look at the profits, what was it? A a 130 billion in profits from the four largest banks and they generated 105 billion in sales.

That’s for last quarter, not year, last quarter.

They’re on fire.

And if you think about why that’s happening, why would you keep your money in a mid, in mid or small bank why you’re not getting interest rates.

You’re taking on all the risk of maybe some of these banks failing.

Maybe it doesn’t happen.

And yes, you know, you, you have FDIC and insurance.

But why even bother with that when you can just go and say it? It’s, there’s no upside in keeping your money there.

It’s not like, oh, I’m gonna keep my money there and I’m gonna have higher rates or get higher rates on sale.

You’re not.

So you’re seeing this, these outflows that nobody’s really talking about into the larger banks.

So you looking at total deposit of small banks at their lowest levels since September and you know what the Fed did, which is under the radar, they increased their emergency funding facility to a new record high.

It’s above $114 billion.

That’s the one the Fed says, oh the large cap banks pay for that.

So it’s not coming outta taxpayer’s pockets.

That’s horseshit.

Okay, because it is coming outta taxpayer dollars.

’cause what do you think f the large banks are funding this.

What do you think they’re gonna do to their clients? They’re gonna raise rates to get earnings higher.

That’s why they’re reporting practically record earnings and record sales.

So it does hurt us.

They don’t wanna go there.

It’s all politics.

What you need to know is the Fed is never ever, ever, ever going to stop printing money.

They’re addicted to it, the politicians are addicted to it.

It’s never gonna happen until something breaks.

So in doing this, it makes this much more difficult to get inflation down to the Fed’s target or making it nearly impossible the Fed to even consider cutting rates since it’s likely gonna create another huge wave of inflation.

Makes sense, right? But in terms of you and the markets and the back and forth and these huge short-term moves in stocks, they’re gonna create headaches for you.

And think about it, six weeks ago, not even five weeks ago, everyone on CNBC was telling you to sell, protect yourself.

The market just fell, what was it? Six straight weeks or whatever these same exact people are now super bullish telling you, Hey the consumer’s strong, everything’s fine.

Has anything really changed? You say, yeah, we got good data, we’ve seen, you know, the 10 year come down a little bit, 4.4% but it’s still up tremendously.

It’s just down from its ties.

It’s like saying what we’re saying right now.

Inflation of 4% is low when inflation since 1991, I mean taking out last year and you look at it at at at from a CPI level of 4%, it’s never broke above 4% since 1991.

Yet it’s at 4% right now.

And we’re like wow, that’s low.

Why? Because it was 9%, what, 15 months ago? It’s still extremely high.

If we take out last year and we still see the market, the housing market right at a standstill, credit conditions are weakening.

It’s harder, right? You, it’s harder to get loans, higher rates, the cutting back banks, delinquency rates are surging in so many different areas or loans, credit cards.

But should we be closing on a record highs in the S&P 500 right now or should the market be trading higher today with short-term rates over 5% compared to when they were at Does that make sense to you? And that’s what makes this market incredibly dangerous going into next year because it’s the fear of missing out of forcing investors to stay in the market when many of the stocks they own and you own are trading at insane valuations.

In other words, if you’re looking at investors, you guys are getting punished for playing it safe.

That’s why I’m saying this.

One of the most dangerous markets I’ve been in in my career 30 years.

It wasn’t the case in 2008, you just got out then the Fed started printing money and bailing out the banks and kind of gave you the, okay, and maybe you weren’t there in 2010, 2011, but 2012 you’re like, okay, it’s over.

You got in 2000, you waited as well, right? Feds started lowering rates after there were high.com crash.

Even during COVID, like during a lockdown, you’re like, holy s**t, I’m getting the hell outta here.

The whole market crashed.

I don’t know what’s going on.

Pandemic, we’ve never seen anything like this.

But the Fed kind of gave everyone the green light three, four months later and then injected 11 point a half trillion dollars, which is like 60% of GDP into the markets.

And then when the market’s opened, that’s why all the supply chains concerns happen because you have massive, massive demand with all this free money slash around the market and it’s still there.

Fed’s supposed to be getting this money outta the market, but they’re not.

But despite my concerns, I’m not advising you to sell everything, but you better know who the hell you’re following.

’cause the days of, of the 23 year, that guy being a market genius for five, six years because we have free money slash around the market, we have rates at zero.

The Fed buying bonds, valuations don’t matter.

SPACs going crazy then going nuts.

Those days are over.

You need to know what you’re buying.

You need to know what’s in your portfolio.

Are you gonna risk losing 20%, 30% in a day? We’ve seen this with so many stocks, seen this with with Dick’s boarding goods, we’ve seen with Footlocker crashes and then all of a sudden they have a decent report and then it’s up.

Roku crashes gets annihilated and all of a sudden it has a decent report.

Clean energy stocks get annihilated.

Now you see a little bit of a bump up as we, you know, there’s a push into more risky assets to try to create alpha for these money managers by the end of the year.

But in reality, not too much has changed.

Other, the fact people think that the Fed is going to definitely cut rates even though we’re not near their targets.

Even though unemployment is still extremely low on a historical basis.

And the CPI is not even close to that 2% target.

And even if we’re close, they have no reason where the market is to even touch rates or do anything.

Why do it? I mean they’re more surprised as hell that the market hasn’t come down.

Everything’s come down.

They’re they’re, they even say we’re, we’re surprised by resilience of the consumer.

This, that’s how much money you inject into the market.

You’re not gonna be surprised when a lot of this comes out ’cause it either has to come out or the Fed’s gonna continue printing, which is gonna result in higher inflation.

Either scenario does not look good when it comes to the thesis of interest rates going lower or the Fed cutting.

I just don’t see it.

We didn’t see it all this year.

We know everybody predicted it this year.

I don’t see it anytime soon next year.

Unless we see a market moving event where the markets crash, massive demand just crashes, then the Fed may do something.

But as of now, I don’t know, I, I don’t see it.

Especially where the markets are.

Why cut? There’s no reason for them to cut right now, especially since we have a long way to go in terms of getting inflation down and the market is holding up rather well and the economy is holding up rather well.

There’s no reason for the Fed to even look at that and that’s why they’ve been adamant every one of the Fed people out there, everyone, and I hate when they talk because you have all these guys in a room and just some of them say different things.

I dunno why.

It’s like letting your CFO talk at public events and different events and you know five different members and they’re saying different things about your company.

You all have to be on the same page.

It’s your company.

This is what happened, this is good, this is bad.

But you have, hey this is good.

And then contradicting each other saying well this is good but I don’t think they’re gonna raise.

It just makes no sense.

It’s confusion And the markets hate confusion.

They hit uncertainty.

But you’re looking at these markets, it’s gonna be different going forward.

Fundamentals are going to matter, management teams are going to matter, balance sheets will matter.

You have to analyze these companies can’t just buy with your eyes closed and think, oh this is a great name.

What do they do? I don’t know.

But it’s up like 60%.

That’s what it was the past couple years.

I think there’s great opportunities in small caps which have significantly, significantly underperformed large caps over the past few years.

Still 20% off their highs in terms of the rest of 2000 compared to what the, the s and p three, 4% off.

Its all time high.

You just recommended a great name Curzio Venture Opportunities newsletter.

That’s our small cap amount cap newsletter.

And this is a great brand under $5 billion market cap been around forever yet down 25% off its highs on risks that no longer exist.

Why is no one paying attention? ’cause nobody cares about small caps, but they are.

’cause you’re looking at large caps and what’s fueling the market is so over owned right now and now they’re becoming expensive.

I mean you’re basically buying Apple and Microsoft at 30 times forward earnings.

Microsoft growing a little bit, but if you look at Apple hasn’t grown sales or earnings in 12 months and yet they increase their market cap by $1 trillion.

Holy cow, good for them.

No growth.

But yet you’re trading at a massive premium to the markets.

It’s gonna be get riskier and riskier and riskier and you gotta be looking for value.

And that’s what funds are doing.

They’re looking for value and you’re gonna find it and you’re starting to see it even in the 13Fs where all these money managers have to report their holdings, their buys, their new positions, the ones that they sell, the decrease.

And you’re seeing small caps more and more show up on these reports.

But this company recommended is gonna see massive sales and earnings growth, lots of catalysts, new products being launched.

That’s why four insiders, the top four people at the company are all buying shares right now while it’s down 25%.

That’s what you wanna see.

Last month I recommended another small cap.

You guys know I’ve been very high in small caps for the last three, four months saying I’m seeing opportunities that I haven’t seen in a very, very long time In terms of risk reward.

These companies are great.

They’ve gotten annihilated, they’ve cut their expenses, they prepared for a recession 18 months ago and they’re still trading out levels.

And it’s why you’re seeing lots of insiders buy these names and these disconnects.

So we recommended one last month, it’s up over 20% already.

I mean it’s like a layup.

Some of these things, these, so even though the market, I expect tough times and usually in tough times small caps got get hit even harder.

They’ve already been hit hard.

I’m not telling you to buy the whole Russell 2000, but there’s lots of names that I’m finding in small cap world that have tons and tons of upside and not a lot of risk because they already cut expenses, they’re leaner, they’re generating lots of free cash flow.

Some of even buy back their stock.

And even management teams are gonna be important companies that lived through this.

Because if you look at the last 10 years, even as an analyst guys, if you’re an analyst and the last 10 years you’re considered an expert and you should be 10 years but not 10 years, you’ve never seen, you’ve never operated in a high interest rate environment.

You’ve never seen anything like it.

You have no idea, you have no experience, you, the only experience you have is money for free.

You could borrow anytime you want.

Everything’s great.

That’s your experience over the last 10, 12 years.

It’s credit crisis, it’s a different market and management teams that live through this.

It’s important.

They have that experience, they understand this type of market.

They understand that we need to cut costs even though we’re seeing sales and earnings go higher.

High interest rates are definitely gonna take a toll as customers close their wallets.

So let’s prepare for it.

But a management team look at at at Mary Barrow who’s a, the CEO of gm.

Not a huge fan.

But finally, finally she did something right? She’s cutting CapEx on EVs and driverless vehicles, which again, you can’t make money on these things and they’re fortune and you know, you’re not seeing the demand.

I don’t know if you’re gonna see demand, even if they go down to 35, $40,000, I don’t know if you’re gonna see the demand.

I mean they don’t operate as well in the cold.

Do you really wanna get outta your car? And if it’s raining, you gotta charge it I mean there’s a market for it, but it’s not gonna become 50, 60, 70% of the whole market, which they, they were predicting gm, Ford, major OEMs, they’re all predicting this saying, oh it’s big, it’s huge.

This is where we’re pushing.

We wanna be like Tesla and get that high multiple just like Disney.

We wanna be like Netflix and get that high multiple.

And now you realize streaming is the s*******t freaking business model in the world.

Why? Nobody can make it work except for one company.

And that’s Netflix.

So now they’re cutting their CapEx and what is she doing? She announced that they’re buying back stock.

And I give her a lot of credit because the buyback, which is $10 billion, which by the way it’s 25% of the market cap, that is insane.

That’s a massive buyback.

But it’s masking the fact that she lowered earnings and free cashflow guidance.

Nobody’s paying attention, they just can’t care about the buyback.

And by the way, it’s not like this one time thing and all the workers were on strike and we don’t have to worry about that.

Well the workers aren’t on strike anymore ’cause you just gave ’em 25% raises for hourly workers.

Do you have that going forward? You’re gonna have to pay that.

That results in an increase of nearly $600 for every vehicle that’s gonna sell, that’s gonna be passed on.

To who? To me to you, to customers.

But there’s no inflation at Wall Street.

They don’t care about the earnings, they don’t care about right now.

They don’t care about that.

The lowered guidance.

They care about buybacks.

They love the buybacks and they should, I mean the stocks up 10% Now after being down 13% on the year of the past few months, I’ve spent a ton, a ton of time researching buybacks.

And you have SMP Dan Ports came out with institutional report.

A lot of people don’t see it.

I have access to a lot of this information.

And they, and, and they did a study and it’s a really good report.

It’s really detailed.

It’s whatever, Uh, and it was dating back I think 20 years, until 2020.

So 2020 all the way back.

I think it’s 20 years or 25 years.

And they showed the top a hundred stocks, the SP hundreds that issued buybacks outperformed the s and p dividend yield portfolio.

But more importantly, and this I found incredibly interesting, it outperformed the s and p 500 over 10 years, over 15 years, over 20 years.

And I want you to think about that for a minute.

’cause we all grew up like, oh, just put money S&P 500, leave Daniel, you’ll do good.

And that’s right, eight and a 5%, 9% on average returns.

If you’re dating back since the fifties, since S&P 500 was created, good for you.

Great returns you hold long term.

But what if I told you that you’re losing money when you could actually invest in something that’s just as safe? What happens if you could buy the index of stocks who are buying back a percentage of their float, a large percentage of their float? And these are safe names.

If you’re buying back stock, it means that you generate lots of free cash flow.

It means that your earnings are probably good.

Your company’s growing.

That’s who buyback those.

That’s where the buybacks come from.

You have to have that money on your balance sheet, which means you, you’re probably also paying a dividend.

I mean these are great companies in this market and high interest rates where now instead of the high industry working against you, ’cause you have a lot of debt and your interest payments go higher, now it’s working for you ’cause you’re generating a 4.5% return.

And think about that.

You’re looking at Apple with their business operations did not grow earnings over the past 12 months, yet they have a hundred billion plus in cash that’s sitting there generating four point half percent more than what the company is doing for selling all its products.

It’s crazy when you think about it.

That’s what ha, having a strong balance sheet, that’s what it does for you.

Your financials gonna be strong, your balance sheet’s gonna be strong.

There’s a better way to generate higher returns.

Which by the way, if you look at David Einhorn mentioned earlier this year, there’s a guy that had a tough stretch for a while, but to pass, I think four years or so, he’s been killing it.

And he said he’s been focused on companies that are buying back their stock.

Warren Buffett, same exact thing, always talks about buybacks, buybacks, buybacks.

And by the way, buybacks, they used to be outlawed.

It’s considered a form of stock manipulation.

Then Ronald Reagan came in and said, no, we’re gonna change this rule.

And ever since companies buying back their stock have significantly outperformed the market.

And now if you’re looking forward, that strategy is even more relevant now because you’re looking at these companies in a tough market, a high interest rate environment, the companies that are able to buy back their stock are gonna do much, much better.

It means that balance sheets are, are more flushed with cash.

They’re generating free cash flow.

It’s more important now because that really didn’t matter pre COVID or even in 2021 when the market, you know, the Fed injected all this money into the market.

Trillion insane.

So you got all this money being injected into the market now you have higher rates, a tougher environment for stocks where a lot of companies are gonna get crushed.

Especially ones that carry variable debt, which is gonna see their interest payments go higher as interest rates stay elevated, the companies buying back their stock are gonna do well and think about it because a lot of those companies include what include the largest ones, the 10 that have been responsible for what, 75, 80% of the, the performance of the S&P 500 this year.

So those are included.

But it’s funny how democrats like a OC Elizabeth Warren are trying to get rid of the buyback rule.

And this is the far left.

And this rule, by the way is called 10 B 18.

Familiar yourself with it.

Get familiarized with it because it’s important.

They’re not gonna be able to do it.

Because if you look at our portfolios, especially over the past five months, six might tell you I’ve been doing a lot of research on this using strategy, Curzio Research Advisory, also Curzio Venture Opportunities.

We had several names on our portfolio who announced significant buybacks.

And by significant, I’m not talking about the dollar amount.

’cause you might say, well Apple is huge, 90 billion, I think Google was like 70 billion.

I mean at Google, at $90 billion buying back their stock, it amounts to just 3% of their float.

Like I say, GM’s buying back 10 billion, it amounts close to 25% of their float.

And why is this a big deal? ’cause we’re all told, you know, okay, they’re gonna buy back their stock and it’s good for earnings or whatever.

And you know, I I, I want, I dial this down on a fifth grade level so you can understand the significance of this.

Okay, so say we have a company and they’re trading at $10 a share.

They have 10 million shares outstanding and generate 10 million in net income.

Again, try to make this easy for you.

That amounts to a dollar a share in earnings.

Now if that same company, remember the dollar share in earnings, that same company announces gonna buy back Which means once they buy those, buy that back, they retire the shares.

So now that they’re gonna reduce that and they’re buy back 2 million shares and the float decreases from So now if the company generates the same $10 million in net income and they only have 8 million shares outstanding, the earnings per share are gonna jump from a dollar to a dollar 25, 20 5%.

Why is that significant? ’cause we’re in a market where earnings aren’t really growing even they’re projected to grow.

Why 8% over the next 12 months you’re growing earnings at 25% while seeing zero growth in net income year over year.

It’s how Apple beats has beaten its earnings for years.

I call that Nike the same thing.

Beating their earnings for years by buying back, was it 18 billion is their LA latest buyback? It’s pretty easy to see some of the larger companies and they announced these buybacks and you see ’em all over TV and CN, BBC and Fox Business, stuff like that.

But there’s a lot of companies that are buying back that you don’t see.

And you have to look at this because it’s not just the buybacks, like I said with Apple where it’s like 90 billion, holy cow, it’s just 3% of the float.

I mean if companies are buying seven, 8% or more of their float back, it’s significant.

It’s gonna result in this.

Not only do you have a floor under the stock, because if it comes down for any reason, just like Mary Bar’s gonna use, she’s gonna be buying the crap outta her stock, right? And putting a floor under it.

That’s why it’s up.

What with the guidance is weak, alright? We don’t even care.

You’re buying back 25% of your float.

Holy cow.

That’s insane.

But it’s a percentage of float that you really wanna focus on.

But if you have access to any of our newsletters, if you’re a subscriber, you, you know exactly what I’m talking about because we’ve talk about this, I’ve been covering this in our videos and, and you know, I always use it as educational tool and that 40 minute videos, 35 minute videos of the stock recommendation every month and just break this down of how we’re really focusing on this strategy because it, it’s a layup buying a lot of these names that are announcing huge buybacks and they only gonna talk more about this trend, tomorrow’s Wall Street Unplugged Premium.

Because there’s a lot more than just finding a company that’s buying back a certain percentage of their float.

It’s not as easy as that.

I mean, for example, I, I’ll use GM again.

So if you’re looking at, in 2018 GM’s vehicle sales began to plunge.

It was terrible environment for ’em.

They needed to raise 3.8 billion in cash.

Uh, so they were slashing costs every place and they were fined 50% of its North American workers shut eight plants.

Uh, and they said these cost cutting measures would save another, you know, 6 billion over the next two years, right? And then we need to raise another 3.8 billion.

Every company has its ups and downs, but with gm and this is F-ed up, it bought back 13.9 billion of its stock from 2014 to 2018.

And it turned out to be a complete waste of capital.

And that’s why they’re making a big deal about this with the CapEx, instead of spending it on something that’s not gonna make you money like EVs, which are fortune and nobody’s buying, there’s no demand there.

Same with driverless cars.

Get outta that ’cause they’re generating a fortune off their gas companies that run on gas.

Do what you’re good at Disney, do what you’re good at.

Don’t get into streaming and keep pushing this issue.

That’s your growth model.

If you’re buying Disney, you’re not buying Disney because it’s a growth store.

You’re buying Disney.

It’s a cost cutting story.

I’d rather buy a company that’s grow.

I’d rather buy Google, have the media presence, whatever, a hundred billion dollars in cash on a balance sheet and access to AI than buy Disney right now who is pushing into a model that clearly won’t work because their best content doesn’t come on the platform first.

Like in Netflix, it comes out in the theaters first.

Now to try to make money off it.

What are you doing? You already have co a bunch of people who really don’t like the site and now you’re gonna throw ads all over it and you’re raising prices, they’re gonna lose tens of millions, maybe a hundred million subscribers soon.

So you’re buying it, they break up the company web, Disney should go back to storytelling, movies, license that content and make a freaking fortune just like gm.

Go back forward, go back to what you’re good at.

Let Tesla do what they’re good at.

They’re 100% focused on one thing.

EVs, they make it work.

So is Rivian.

You guys are great at making companies run a gas work and they’re selling good choice by Mary Barer.

And that’s why you see in the stock go up and what’s gonna happen.

The same thing that happened with Microsoft and not Microsoft, it was Facebook.

Facebook was getting annihilated.

And what do they do? They focused on cost and said we’re not gonna spend that much.

We’re cutting.

We’re reining the cost.

And you saw the stock start to surge and what happened? You saw almost all the companies, the big technology companies and a lot of other companies do the same and said this is what Wall Street wants to see.

Wall Street wants to see us cutting our CapEx, cutting our spending, Facebook not throwing billions away on the metaverse immediately, which I think is gonna be a monster trend eventually.

And then everyone went that way and their stocks did very, very well.

It’s the same thing with buybacks.

You need GM or a company like this to really showcase it.

’cause Apple buying back in, it’s a small percentage of their float.

Small percentage O of of Google’s float.

This is a lot bigger.

This is 25% of the float.

You’re gonna see a lot of companies coming out and doing the same.

And these things are gonna pop just like GMs popping ’cause that’s what you wanna see ’em use their balance sheet for.

That’s benefits beneficial for investors.

Reducing that share account earnings gonna increase, it’s gonna result in a higher stock price.

That’s why you’re buying stocks for the stock to go higher.

And this is what Wall Street wants to see, which is evident.

’cause they didn’t care about GM lowering their numbers.

They were more concerned or looking at this than saying, okay, what is Mary Barer gonna announce? And they have a big, big event tomorrow.

It was EV about EVs and saying they’re gonna be profitable EVs next year, which is horseshit, but this is what Wall Street wants to see.

So good job by then.

But if you look at a gm, you know, not all buybacks are created.

Eagle and B-A-B-A-S-F actually announced a buyback.

And I don’t know if you know this, when companies announced a buyback, they’re not obligated to buy back the whole amount, but they don’t get in trouble for not, and that’s what B-A-B-A-S-F did.

So we can condition said, okay, we’re holding our buyback.

Most companies don’t.

But you wanna make sure a company has a history of buying back their shares and they follow through on that announcement.

If you’re looking at GM during that period from 2004, 2018, it fell 24%.

The rest of the market S&P, you know, blew it outta the water over that same time.

So it’s a lot more to this strategy of buying stocks that just announce these buybacks.

You really have to look under the hood a little bit more.

And Daniel, I are gonna cover a lot of that tomorrow.

And look, two weeks ago I was surprised, but I said anyone that’s new to Wall Street Unplugged and we have this Wall Street Unplugged Premium that we talk about, which is our paid versions, $10 a month, which includes our Dollar Stock Club portfolio.

And Daniel, I’ve recommended stock every week and we break it down and stuff.

But I said, Hey, you know what, if anyone’s new and you wanna try this, I’ll let you try it for a dollar.

And we put it on our site.

A lot of people signed up for it.

I was surprise.

Uh, so if you’re interested, go to ww dot w su premium.com, that’s wsu premium.com.

It’s $1 for the month.

And then if you like it, we’re automatically gonna bill you $10 a month after.

So you know, it really is an incredible value, guys, more value than you’ll see from any newsletter you currently own that you owned in the past.

You’re gonna see, you know, what you’re getting for your dollars and this product could be like $5,000 or more.

And that’s why.

And by charging a dollar look, you can look at it and say, okay, let’s see if Frank’s full of s**t or not.

And if it’s full of s**t, it costs you a dollar, which is what? That’s enough to go what, 10, Which is crazy, but it’s a dollar.

And I was surprised at how many people sign up to that offer.

But again, we’re getting new people to the file.

They wanna see, okay, is this just a product that’s no, you are gonna see lots of recommendations, lots of picks.

And we talked about so many names.

I think we talked about 30 or 40 names a couple weeks ago, the benefit from the seasonality and a lot of those names are up incredibly, even some small caps that we mentioned.

So there’s a lot of value there and we really wanna provide a lot of value.

And that’s the growth of the company in terms of that product, Wall Street Unplugged Premium, and creating this massive network around it and really providing great information and great stock ideas through that pocket.

So if you’re interested, again, you can go to wssu premium.com, but tomorrow’s Washington World Premium.

Dan and I, we’re not just gonna do a deep dive into buybacks, but we’re also gonna be recommended stock that just recently announced a big buyback.

And it’s not GM and it’s a company that you probably don’t know about ’cause it’s not on the radar.

Uh, there’s several of these that announced buybacks, which they usually announced during earnings season.

Earning season just ended at Q3.

So that’s when you see a lot of these companies buy back.

But we have access to a lot of this information.

We’ve been talking about it in our newsletters, your subscriber, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Uh, but we’re gonna talk about several companies that announced these buybacks and how to look at them and really do a deep dive to find the right ones to buy.

’cause like I say, you don’t want a GM situation where, hey, this is a buyback and you get nailed.

There’s much more than just buying a stock that says, Hey, we’re buying back our stock.

And it’s more than like 5% of their float.

You have to look at more details.

We’re gonna cover that tomorrow, on Wall Street Unplugged Premium, huh? So, guys, that’s it for me.

Nice long podcast because I missed last week, which is gave my team and my company off Thanksgiving.

So I had a lot to talk about.

So got a nice long podcast today.

But one last note before I go.

Uh, RIPD, Charlie Munger, the greatest investors of our time, c NBC’s doing a special on him tomorrow, which should be really cool ’cause they were going to plan this for January ’cause he died and he’s 99.

So the, you know, a month, a little bit over a month from now, he’s gonna be a hundred.

And they were gonna do this big special.

So Becky Quick is really close to Warren Buffett and, and, and Charlie Munger, she’s like the go-to person, in all, in all the interviews.

And she was doing this interview over the past few months to be released in January.

And they, they showed a couple pieces of it and it was really, really cool.

So, they’re gonna come out with a special, you know, just to, to remember him and, and yeah, it should be pretty cool tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to it.

But, and it’s all new content.

It’s gonna be stuff that you haven’t seen.

’cause again, they were just pushing this, which I thought was really, really cool, because they were gonna do it in January when he turned a hundred.

So, um, really, really great timing.

Uh, I know they’ll do a great job remembering him, but sad to see him go.

Id condolence this to his family and friends, with Charlie Munger, RIP.

So, that’s it from here.

Thank you so much for listening and, I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Take care.

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money, and your responsibility.

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